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Artist Statement | A Roomful of Ghosts | San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

Artist Statement: A Roomful of Ghosts

Copyright 2018 David Limrite Roomful of Ghosts 3 Figure Painting Drawing Teacher Artist

A Roomful Of Ghosts was originally inspired by the recent deaths of both my parents, which led to thoughts of my unforgotten ancestors. The grieving, mourning, remembering, reflecting, connecting, celebrating, preserving memories, honoring, and healing.

I began creating images and sketches in an attempt to display my emotions visually. Emotion is the surest sign that we are alive. It is the deepest motivator, as well as, the lifeblood of my work. In the process, I realized that abstract elements could be used as a metaphor for passing from one state of being to the next. Black is used as an obvious metaphor for death itself.

The work combines formal language with emotional content, fully realized areas, obscured passages, areas that have been obliterated, and other areas abstracted altogether. The figures are created from darkness, mystery and emotion and contain perceptible emotional qualities even without delineation of details. The emotional content and passionate handling of the materials gives these images their power and intensity.

My images and sketches began to suggest the idea of “ghosts”. I have always been fascinated by ghosts or the idea of them, even though I am not sure what they are. I do believe that ghosts exist. I have seen evidence of them. I think I see them out of the corner of my eye all the time. I never seem to be alone. Maybe they are just in my imagination. I assume that they are my ancestors checking in on me.

The mythology of every culture includes the idea that life in some way continues after death. Traditional view is that a ghost is the spirit or soul of a person who was once alone and who returns and makes its presence felt in some way. A ghosts significance lies in its presence rather than its absence. What do ghosts tell us about ourselves and our past? The pieces in this exhibit will attempt to frame an age-old subject in a new way.

I decided that “Ghosts” would ultimately be my theme for this body of work and would tie in very nicely with my original “Death” inspiration.

I am also interested in the mystique of suggestion and the idea of reveal and conceal. The work being created during this exhibit will appear, disappear and reappear as a result of their creation and my attempts to find the image I am looking for.

My creative process will involve creation, obliteration, recreation, as well as, destruction and resurrection. The unfinished quality of some areas could suggest an unfinished life, as well as, decay. These incomplete areas could also suggest that the soul lives on. Surfaces disrupted by collage, brush strokes, scribbles or objects could suggest a life that was disrupted or interrupted. Body language, gesture and abstract passages will carry the meaning of this work. The creation of this work will be a voyage into the darkness of an unknown place which is where the images will ultimately reside.

In order to create the work in A Roomful Of Ghosts, I will have to access the darker parts of myself and become vulnerable. My vulnerability will be magnified because all of the work will be created on the spot and in full view of the public. The subject matter is essentially me and will exist as examples of my feelings and emotions. In order to depict the weight of feelings, I will confront the darkness of the spirit and attempt to wrestle it into pictorial expression. My goal is to make images that are created, observed and experienced emotionally. The finished paintings, the artist and the viewer will all come together to create meaning.

The process of making these pieces will reveal a narrative of their creation. The work is an arena of struggle where desire, chance, skill, ideas, media and surface are all engaged in an interchange resulting in a collection of marks that will reveal the process and ultimately the finished work.

This unique presentation is intended to pull back the curtain on the mystery of creativity. To reveal the creative process and make it accessible. To let the viewer see and experience creativity happen and witness the emergence of the visions of one artist.. And to promote discussions on art, art making, process, art appreciation and creativity.

A Roomful Of Ghosts, the process is the art.

David Limrite